2016 Kitchen Trends – From Clean Lines To Custom Details, Charlotte Area Designer ID’s Today’s Look & Style

Posted on | June 28, 2016 | No Comments

Kitchens are tremendously important – not only do they “sell houses,” they serve as a multi-purpose gathering place for today’s families. A kitchen that’s up-to-date in both form and function greatly adds to a home’s value, comfort and enjoyment. So just what is new in kitchens these days? To find out the answer, North Carolina Design talked to Brandon Fitzmorris. Brandon is a designer at Walker Woodworking, a family-owned Charlotte area business that designs and crafts custom cabinetry that beckons the eye with its beauty and detail. Working closely with clients to create their dream kitchens, Brandon knows what’s “hot” right now.

Images Courtesy of Walker Woodworking ©

The overarching trend in kitchens is one that favors efficiency over showmanship, and simplicity over embellishment. “The evolution really has been toward a simpler, more practical design that makes the best use of the space,” Brandon affirms. “People used to be more focused on a kitchen that was visually impressive, and they weren’t as concerned with functionality. Now, homeowners really want to meld form and function together. They want something that’s beautiful, but really works for their lifestyle.”

Brandon attributes some of the shift in preference to the fact that homeowners are increasingly knowledgeable. “They have so much information at their fingertips,” he reflects. “They do a lot of research. They know a lot about kitchen design. They have great ideas, and they ask great questions. They put a lot of thought into their kitchens and they really participate in the process. It’s  great to collaborate with clients on that level.”

Today’s kitchen style may be more simple, but it still has a fabulous custom touch. ““You can have a clean look, and still have these great custom details,” says Brandon. “With cabinets, the trend is toward clean lines and flat panel doors. But then the panels will have chamfered edges, or beads on the inside profile. People will do a classic subway tile backsplash, but the tile will have chamfered edges or a crackle finish. Other choices are patterned or fire clay tile.”

People are also looking for ways to add an element of shine to their kitchens. “Metallics are popular, on everything from hoods to backsplashes,” notes Brandon. “A lot of people are incorporating antique mirrors into their kitchens. I especially see this in wet bars – it adds some shine, and a lot of interest. For pulls and fixtures, brass is making a comeback, but it’s a much softer, brushed brass. It’s really very pretty. And of course, you have polished chrome, which adds a really clean, really elegant look.”

When it comes to color, clean and soft seems to rule the day. “I’m seeing a lot of shades of white, and shades of gray,” Brandon observes. “They’re great colors, but you have to be very mindful of undertones. If you choose a warm white or gray for your cabinets, you should choose a backsplash and countertop with warm undertones.” It isn’t all about white and gray, however; “I’ve had several requests lately for indigo and blue. It’s a surprising choice, but it can really look amazing.”

As function has come to the forefront, kitchens have shifted accordingly. “One of the biggest changes is the addition of the beverage center,” Brandon tells us. “It can also be called a wet bar, or a butler’s pantry. Essentially it’s a tall appliance garage, where you might store your toaster and your coffee maker, along with your bread and your coffee mugs. This way you can grab a quick breakfast without making a mess out of the entire kitchen.

“Kitchens in general are now designed to be as clutter free as possible. There’s a demand for more cabinet storage. People also want a command center, where they can hang up their keys, put away their wallet, charge their phone and leave a note for their spouse, while keeping the kitchen tidy.” All of this makes Brandon pretty happy. “I love the recent focus on simplicity and efficiency. Having a clean, beautiful kitchen space that functions well can really add such peace and enjoyment to your day-to-day life.”

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